Grampa Bill's General Authority Pages
Boyd K. Packer Boyd K. Packer

1924 - 2015

  • Born Sept. 10, 1924 Brigham City, Utah
  • Baptized as a child; Aaronic Priesthood as a youth; Melchizedek Priesthood as a young man
  • Served in U.S. Army Air Corps, 1942-1946
  • Married Donna Smith 1947; ten children
  • Doctorate in educational administration from BYU, 1962
  • Assistant to the Twelve, 1961-1970
  • President of New England States Mission, 1965-68.
  • Ordained Apostle and sustained to Council of the Twelve, 1970-present
  • Acting President of Council of the Twelve 1994-2008
  • President of Council of the Twelve 2008-2015
  • Died July 3, 2015, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Foremost a husband, father and grandfather who cherishes family life, and who includes in the realm of family those ancestors whose records and stories he and his wife have researched and for whom they have done temple work, he is better known in the Church as a disciplined student who, already having a profound understanding of the doctrine contained in the scriptures, daily searches the sacred books to comprehend their principles. He is lauded as a master teacher who has great ability to pass along his understanding and comprehension to others. He is appreciated as a man whose wit, though quick, is never unkind.

    He was born in Brigham City, Utah, Sept. 10, 1924, the 10th in a family of 11 children to Ira W. and Emma Jensen Packer. In an interview with the Church News for the July 21, 1985, issue, President Packer, then a member of the Council of the Twelve, said: "In a number of my talks, I've told how my mother taught us lessons very early in life. One was an incident where their house nearly burned down. She had stayed home because she had an impression not to go to town with her family. She told us to always follow the promptings of the Spirit."

     President Packer was encouraged as a young boy to read, to study the world around him. His Danish mother spread newsprint on the floor where he would sprawl and draw. He considered becoming a professional artist. He eventually created beautiful paintings, both in oils or acrylics, and illustrated several books. He became an expert carver of wood,  creating life-like birds perched on leaves and blossoms he sculpted from copper.

    At age 21, when he was a bomber pilot during World War II stationed on an Okinawan island in 1945, he strolled a lonely beach, pondering his future. He decided to become a teacher. After the military, he enrolled at Weber College, now Weber State University, in Ogden, Utah. He next attended Utah State University in Logan, from which he graduated a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the national honorary scholastic society.

    President Packer credits his wife, Donna Smith Packer, for making it possible for him to pursue a career in education and, later, to serve as a General Authority. They married in the Logan Temple 47 years ago, but he still refers to her as "my bride." They are parents of 10 children, and have 51 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

    Sister Packer has been a profound influence in President Packer's life. Her willingness to be centered in family life and to encourage him in service, he said, are fundamental reasons for his progress.

    Encouraged by his wife in his chosen profession, he taught seminary for six years, during  which time he completed his work for a master of education degree at Utah State University. His work in the seminary at Brigham City included opening the first Indian seminary and adding a fourth-year Book of Mormon course, which thereafter became standard in the seminary curriculum. As a member of the Church's Scriptures Publication Committee, he was instrumental in the publishing of new editions of the scriptures.

    Elder Packer was called as Assistant to the Twelve on Oct. 1, 1961 and while still an Assistant served as President of the New England States Mission, from 1965 to 1968.

    He was ordained an Apostle and sustained to the Quorum of the Twelve April 9, 1970. With the call of Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson as Counselors to President Howard W. Hunter, Elder Packer was set apart as Acting President of the Council of the Twelve on June 5, 1994. Then, with the death of President Hunter and President Monson being called as First Counselor, President Packer was called again to serve as Acting President of the Twelve on March 12, 1995.

    He remained Acting President of the Twelve until the death of President Hinckley. With the ascension of President Monson to the Prophet's seat, President Packer removed the word "Acting" from his title and became President of the Twelve on February 4, 2008.

    The Church often sees President Packer as a strict diciplinarian, without wit or sympathy. President Spencer W. Kimball wrote of an incident that gives the lie to that perception. President Kimball told of a sacrament meeting that Elder Packer, then an Assistant to the Twelve, had attended in Cuzco, Peru, in 1964. President Kimball described the scene of a little boy who was dirty and dressed in tattered clothes - apparently an orphan who lived on the streets - who came to the open doorway of the chapel during the sacrament service.

    "Almost unobserved, he shyly came to the sacrament table and, with a seeming spiritual hunger, leaned against the table and lovingly rubbed his unwashed face against the cool, smooth white linen," President Kimball wrote.

    The child was sent back into the street by a woman sitting on the front row. "A bit later the little urchin, seemingly compelled by some inner urge, overcame his timidity and came stealthily, cautiously down the aisle again, fearful, ready to escape if necessary," President Kimball wrote. "From his seat on the stand, Elder Packer caught his eye, beckoned to him, and stretched out big welcoming arms. After a moment's hesitation, the little Lamanite ragamuffin was nestled comfortably on his lap, in his arms, the tousled head against the great warm heart - a heart sympathetic to waifs, and especially to little Lamanite ones."

    President Boyd K. Packer died July 3, 2015, at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah of causes incident to age. With his death, Elder Russell M. Nelson became President of the Twelve Apostles.

    Gerry Avant, "Pres. Packer: Individual of Varied Interests, Talents, Traits," Church News Archives, March 18, 1995 (principal source)
    "Pres. Packer: Rich in Experience," Church News Archives, June 11, 1994
    Lawrence R. Flake, Prophets and Apostles of the Last Dispensation, p.505
    2005 Church Almanac, p.25
    Familypedia-Boyd K. Packer

Selected Discourses and Writings
Grampa Bill believes this to be the most complete listing available free on the web of Boyd K. Packer's talks and articles. Please email the Grampa if you note any busted links, errors, or if you are aware of any Boyd K. Packer talks or articles not listed here but available on the web.

You will note that most are available only as text; some are available only in an audio (ASX or MP3) format; while still others are available in both text and audio formats.

Any talk marked with an asterisk (*) is not (to my knowledge) available anywhere else on the web. As a service, it has been copied onto this web site.
I am not Reticent to Speak Pointedly *
Note:This is Elder Packer's first talk to General Conference after being called as an Assistant to the Twelve
General Conference, 8 April 1962  
Eternal Love BYU Fireside, 3 November 1963 MP3
Follow the Brethren BYU Fireside, 23 March 1965 MP3
I'm a Person *
Another talk by Elder Packer containing one of John W. Redelfs' "Ten Deadly Twinkies." And so... another link dedicated to John W. Redelfs.
General Conference, 2 October 1965  
The Path to Manhood *
Note: This is Elder Packer's first General Conference Address after being sustained to the Council of the Twelve. It was delivered to the Priesthood session of the 140th Annual General Conference.
Priesthhod Meeting
General Conference, 6 April 1970
Eternal Marriage BYU Fireside, 14 April 1970 MP3
The Family and Eternity Ensign, February 1971  
“The Spirit Beareth Record” Ensign, June 1971  
The Only True and Living Church Ensign, December 1971  
Begin Where You Are—At Home Ensign, February 1972  
Why Stay Morally Clean Ensign, July 1972  
The Saints Securely Dwell Ensign, January 1973  
Called of God by Prophecy BYU Fireside, 27 March 1973  
Behold Your Little Ones Ensign, July 1973  
What Every Freshman Should Know Ensign, September 1973  
Inspiring Music—Worthy Thoughts Ensign, January 1974  
President Spencer W. Kimball: No Ordinary Man Ensign, March 1974  
We Believe All That God Has Revealed General Conference, April 1974  
Where Much Is Given; Much Is Required General Conference, October 1974  
Self Reliance BYU Fireside, 2 March 1975  
An Appeal to Prospective Elders General Conference, April 1975  
Self-Reliance Ensign, August 1975  
The Redemption of the Dead General Conference, October 1975  
The Arts and the Spirit of the Lord BYU Fireside, 1 February 1976  
Spiritual Crocodiles General Conference, April 1976  
The Arts and the Spirit of the Lord Ensign, August 1976  
Someone Up There Loves You Ensign, January 1977  
Follow the Rule BYU Fireside, 14 January 1977  
The Equal Rights Amendment Ensign, March 1977  
The Mediator General Conference, April 1977  
The Balm of Gilead General Conference, October 1977  
Solving Emotional Problems in the Lord’s Own Way General Conference, April 1978  
The Relief Society General Conference, October 1978  
“Judge Not According to the Appearance” General Conference, April 1979  
Prayers and Answers General Conference, October 1979  
Ordinances BYU Fireside, 3 February 1980  
A Tribute to the Rank and File of the Church General Conference, April 1980  
The Circle of Sisters General Conference, October 1980  
The Choice General Conference, October 1980  
Marriage General Conference, April 1981  
The Aaronic Priesthood General Conference, October 1981  
The Gospel—The Foundation for Our Career General Conference, April 1982  
Scriptures General Conference, October 1982  
The Candle of the Lord Ensign, January 1983  
Agency and Control General Conference, April 1983  
“Come; All Ye Sons of God” Ensign, August 1983  
The Mystery of Life General Conference, October 1983  
Feed My Sheep General Conference, April 1984  
The Pattern of Our Parentage General Conference, October 1984  
Principles Ensign, March 1985  
“From Such Turn Away” General Conference, April 1985  
The Only True Church General Conference, October 1985  
Roland and Dora Mae BYU Devotional & Building Dedication, 29 October 1985  
Using the New Scriptures Ensign, December 1985  
President Gordon B. Hinckley: First Counselor Ensign, February 1986  
“The Things of My Soul” General Conference, April 1986  
Little Children General Conference, October 1986  
Covenants General Conference, April 1987  
Balm of Gilead General Conference, October 1987  
Computerized Scriptures Now Available Ensign, Apr-88  
Atonement; Agency; Accountability General Conference, April 1988  
Funerals—A Time for Reverence General Conference, October 1988  
To Young Women and Men General Conference, April 1989  
A Tribute to Women Ensign, July 1989  
Revelation in a Changing World General Conference, October 1989  
The Library of the Lord General Conference, April 1990  
Teach Them Correct Principles General Conference, April 1990  
Covenants General Conference, October 1990  
I Say Unto You: Be One BYU Devotional, 12 February 1991  
The Moving of the Water General Conference, April 1991  
Reverence Invites Revelation General Conference, October 1991  
Our Moral Environment General Conference, April 1992  
“To Be Learned Is Good If …” General Conference, October 1992  
What Every Elder Should Know Ensign, February 1993  
The Temple; the Priesthood General Conference, April 1993  
A Temple to Exalt Ensign, August 1993  
For Time and All Eternity General Conference, October 1993  
The Father and the Family General Conference, April 1994  
We Honor Now His Journey Ensign, July 1994  
Personal Revelation: The Gift; the Test; and the Promise General Conference, October 1994  
The Holy Temple Ensign, February 1995  
President Howard W. Hunter—He Endured to the End Ensign, April 1995  
“The Shield of Faith” General Conference, April 1995  
The Snow-White Birds BYU Annual University Conference, 29 August 1995  
The Brilliant Morning of ForgivenessGeneral Conference, October 1995  
The Word of Wisdom: The Principle and the Promises General Conference, April 1996  
The Twelve Apostles General Conference, October 1996  
Washed Clean General Conference, April 1997  
Called to Serve General Conference, October 1997  
“The Peaceable Followers of Christ” Ensign, Apr-98  
The Relief Society General Conference, April 1998  
Parents in Zion General Conference, October 1998  
The Bishop and His Counselors General Conference, April 1999 ASX
The Spirit of Revelation General Conference, October 1999 ASX
Teach the Children Ensign, February 2000  
The Cloven Tongues of Fire General Conference, April 2000 ASX
“Ye Are the Temple of God” General Conference, October 2000 ASX
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand”
Because President Packer is one of John W. Redelfs' favorite speakers, indeed one of his favorite General Authorities of all time, and because John so decries what he calls "Theological Twinkies" of which "The Touch of the Master's hand" is one, Grampa dedicates this link to Brother John W. Redelfs. Click here for more details.
General Conference, April 2001 ASX
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ General Conference, October 2001 ASX
The Twenty-Mark Note BYU Idaho Devotional
12 March 2002
Children General Conference, April 2002 ASX
The Stake Patriarch General Conference, October 2002  
The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character CES Fireside for Young Adults
, 2 February 2003
The Golden Years General Conference, April 2003 ASX
Your Family History: Getting Started Ensign, August 2003  
“The Standard of Truth Has Been Erected” General Conference, October 2003 MP3
Do Not Fear General Conference, April 2004 MP3
The Least of These General Conference, October 2004 MP3
The Light of Christ Ensign, Apr-05  
The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ—Plain and Precious Things General Conference, April 2005 MP3
The Twelve Apostles Ensign, September 2005  
On Zion’s Hill General Conference, October 2005 MP3
“I Will Remember Your Sins No More” Ensign", May 2006 MP3
The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What Every Member Should Know Ensign, August 2006  
A Defense and a Refuge General Conference, October 2006 MP3
Lehi's Dream and You BYU Devotional, 16 January 2007 MP3
Principles of Teaching and Learning
A presentation given jointly with Elder L. Tom Perry
Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting
, February 2007
The Spirit of the Tabernacle General Conference, April 2007 MP3

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